Dakota interview with QE Transport: Paul Bowmaker, Head of Transport, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust


Dakota Integrated Solutions spoke with Paul Bowmaker, Head of Transport at QE Transport, to find out how Dakota has worked with him and his team to implement a new Electronic Point of Delivery (ePod) solution aimed at streamlining and improving the tracking of the movement of specimens from various healthcare facilities, such as GP surgeries, hospitals and pharmacies, to laboratories for testing.

QE Transport is a division of QE Facilities Ltd, a well-established, wholly owned subsidiary company of Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, based in the North of England. With a company ethos of continually surpassing client expectations, QE Transport is dedicated to delivering high-class customer service whilst adhering to UKAS Standards.

1. What are your main areas of responsibility within QE Transport?

My main area of responsibility within QE Transport it to oversee the collection and  tracking of specimens, such as pathology samples, from over 2,000 medical locations including GP surgeries, NHS hospital sites and pharmacies, to laboratories for testing. 

2. How long have you been a Dakota customer?

We have been a Dakota customer for around three years, however I have been aware of Dakota for around fourteen years.

3. How did you first come into contact with Dakota?

As I already knew about Dakota during my previous working role, I initially approached them directly with a view to creating a new ePod solution. I also approached a number of alternative companies during my search in an effort to secure a working partnership with a company which would help us achieve our ePod solution goal.

4. Which products are you currently using?

We are currently using Dakota’s eTrakLogic solution running on Zebra TC56 PDAs.

5. How is the eTrakLogic solution currently being used?

We are currently using the solution for the tracking of medical samples. When the sample bags are collected from the various locations, they are scanned using the Zebra TC56 and are also scanned upon delivery to the laboratory testing site. This enables us to have full visibility of the whereabouts of the sample and allows us to prove that the samples have been safely collected and delivered, thus adhering to the required UKAS standards for the movement of samples.

6. What type of product were you using before you deployed your Dakota product solution?

Before the deployment of the Dakota eTrakLogic solution, we had an alternative ePod solution in place, however it didn’t meet the requirements for sample tracking and security so we needed to look for a suitable alternative which would meet our needs and which would enable us to adhere to the required compliance standards.

7. What have been the main business benefits you have experienced/achieved as a result of your Dakota product solution?

The business benefits of our new Dakota solution have been far-reaching. We are now  fully-compliant with UKAS standards, eliminating the risk of security breaches as well as the financial impact of any such occurrence. Our reputation with the NHS will always remain positive because of this compliance and in terms of patient care, we also remove any requirement for a patient to have to undergo additional testing due to a lost or misplaced sample.

8. What additional benefits are you experiencing as a result of the deployment of the Dakota solution?

Another benefit which we are realising is the ability to utilise dashboard facilities, allowing us to keep track of what has been collected, what still needs to be collected and the status of every delivery at each individual location. This enables us to plan accordingly and provide rapid status updates as and when required.

9. Why did you choose to work with Dakota on your ePod solution project?

The new ePod system which we needed to deploy had to be a bespoke solution, as none of the off-the-shelf offerings which we looked into were suitable for our relatively complex requirements. The team at Dakota were happy to work with us in order to develop a bespoke solution which gave us everything we needed and more. We did approach a few companies during our initial search, however Dakota came out on top in terms of what they could provide us with, which is a fully-functional and reliable solution upon which we can fully rely.

10. What are Dakota’s specific USPs?

We have realised a great many benefits from working with Dakota. From the offset, they were extremely helpful and willing to work with us in order to create a bespoke ePod solution which addressed every criteria we were looking for. They offered, and continue to offer, a high degree of flexibility and support and work closely with us in order to help us evolve from an ePod solution perspective as our business changes and as our solution requirements develop over time. 

11. Do you have any plans to extend your Dakota solution further or do you have any new applications which you are currently considering?

We are currently looking to increase the number of pharmaceutical companies we work with and are also looking to roll out the eTrakLogic solution to encompass patient transport. We already do this, however we are looking to improve our current service offering through the deployment of the eTrakLogic solution.

12. How would you rate your experience with Dakota?

Our experience and ongoing relationship with Dakota is excellent. We have built up a fantastic working partnership over the years thanks to their friendly yet highly professional service. They are always willing to move with our demands and requirements, sometimes at very short notice. They have been an excellent solution partner right from the start and we very much look forward to the continuation of our partnership in the future.

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